So you’re a do it yourselfer. You like to do things yourself. If you wanted to make your own disc golf disc, then how do you do it? In this article we will discuss several ways in which you can make your own disc golf disc.
Regardless of the method you use to make your own disc golf disc, the first thing you will need to do is come up with a golf disc design.
Designing Disc Golf Discs
There is a lot that goes into golf disc designs. Because so many different disc molds have already been developed, the easiest way to design a disc, is by utilizing the disc dimensions of other existing discs. All dimensions of PDGA approved discs are listed in the technical standards section on the PDGA website. This section includes the diameter, height, rim width, rim depth, and flexibility
By making a few minor changes to the disc dimensions of existing discs, you can have a drastically different flying discs, according to the characteristics you are looking for.
For example, if you like a putter shape and design but want to give it a little bit more stability, you can try adding a bead or small bump around the rim. If you like a disc, but want something a little bit more understable, try lowering the parting line of the disc so that more air flows above the disc than below it when in flight.
To make a disc more overstable, raise the parting line and flatten the dome so that more air flows under the disc.
Ways to make your own Disc.
The easiest and most accessible way for do-it-yourselfers to make their own disc golf discs is out of wood.
Take a block of wood approximately 9 by 9 by one inch and using a lathe or steady carving knife and a bunch of sand paper, carve your hand made disc down to your perfect design.
Wooden discs look fantastic, but are very stiff and can break on impact. Depending on the type of wood you use, wooden discs will likely be much lighter than traditional plastic discs.
3D Printed Disc
Another way you can make your own golf disc at home is with a 3D printer. The problem with 3D printed discs is that 3D printer filament is pretty expensive and the plastic quality will be substantially stiffer than most traditional golf discs.
Even if you plan to later mass produce discs, a 3D printed disc is a good way to test your design. Most modern disc manufacturers make 3D printed versions of their discs first to make sure that they look and feel the way they want before ordering the Injection Mold.
If you have access to an injection mold machine, this is the best way to make your own golf disc, especially if you want to mass produce it. One key for injection molding golf discs is that you need a big injection mold machine and probably need at least a 1500 ton unit.
The big disadvantage of designing a disc for an injection mold is the cost of the Mold. The cost for an disc mold in the US will generally cost you between $15,000 and $30,000. If you look overseas, it is possible to get a golf disc mold between $4,000 and $10,000 but the shipping of those massive molds will also cost hundreds of dollars and it will likely be months before the product can be delivered.
Once the injection mold is made, choosing the best plastics for your disc is the next step. Disc golf discs are primarily made from TPU and TPE plastic blends. Then, different additives are included on these discs to make different flexibilities and visual effects.
So you’ve done it, you’ve created a disc golf disc. Can you throw it?
Recreationally, you can throw whatever object you want to, but in order for a disc to be accepted for tournament play, it must pass PDGA guidelines. The PDGA tests the disc size, weight, flexibility, rim depth, and sharpness to ensure that it is safe and meets their standards for PDGA tournament play. Wood and most 3D printed discs will not pass the flexibility requirements.
In order to submit a disc for PDGA approval you must first have a valid business, brand and contact information. You then pay a $300 fee to the PDGA for approval and send 3 of your discs to the PDGA’s testing facilities in Arizona. This approval process generally takes 1-2 weeks. If your disc meets all of the PDGA requirements, your disc will be listed in the PDGA directory.